From the industrial revolution to the present day, The Carbon Chronicles maps the regions contributing most to the climate crisis, which can be traced through the stalagmite growths representing CO2 emissions emitted by different countries. Beginning with the UK in the 1750s, emissions from coal began enveloping the planet, with other regions soon following. By the late 1800s through to the twenty-first century, growing industrial and extractive activity in the Global North is responsible for 92% of CO2 with 8% coming from the Global South. The spread of CO2 described in the animation mirrors the wider historic processes of power distribution imposed on poorer countries and shows that the atmosphere is as contested a space as the territories beneath it. “The Carbon Chronicles” informs the need for equitable solutions to the climate crisis, mindful of the historic consequences of carbon exploitation, to ask, Who Owns the Air?

Tom Corby (UK)
This animation is produced by Manifest Data Lab, a collective of artists and climate scientists exploring the evidential and social potentials of climate change. Tom Corby/Gavin Baily/Jonathan Mackenzie (lead producers, animators and directors) Louise Sime (The British Antarctic Survey). Other Manifest Data Lab collaborators include: Giles Lane, Erin Dickson, George Roussos. The project is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.